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Courtesy Artpace

Revel in the arts this month in San Antonio with four distinct and dynamic shows. “L.A. to S.A.” brings together diverse artists to highlight similarities within the Latinx art community, while Jessica Harvey holds a mirror to natural sites in the Texas landscape in “soft earth hard sky” at Sala Diaz. Wherever your whimsy takes you this winter and throughout the holiday season, the arts will be a welcome addition.

Mercury Project

“L.A. to S.A. Presented by Motherling” — Now through December 23
“L.A. to S.A.” brings together a diverse group of artists that highlight the vast similarities within the Latinx art community. These similarities bring with them a feeling of home, familiarity, and comfort. The artists bring these feelings to the surface all while highlighting their own variances in themes and art practices. This exhibition is meant to explore the impact made within the communities, and how these impacts spread beyond each individual city, creating a larger network of ‘comunidad’ throughout the country.

Sala Diaz

“Jessica Harvey: soft earth hard sky” — Now through December 30
In this exhibit, Jessica Harvey holds a mirror to natural sites in the Texas landscape to search for self-reflected back in the sinkholes, waterways, and skies at daybreak. These in-between spaces offer an opportunity for the viewer to see collapse and sickness as a portal in addition to a void. Harvey is an artist and writer whose work explores the fractures of bodies, place, and history. Using photography, video, sound, and archival resources, the images and installations Harvey creates look to the psychology that one attaches to memory and place, putting a particular emphasis on the labor of care. Bone fragments, human hair, heartbeats, and the sounds of daybreak act as inspiration to illustrate the stories and rituals tied to death and living.

Artpace

“María José Crespo: Flaws in negotiation with non-cohesive sand” — Now through January 8
María José Crespo has created an environment that layers human presence, land, and water politics, and an ever-changing territory into a border poem. The voluminous sculptural works of steel, plaster, wood, and glass pay tribute to infrastructure and excess of materials visible along the border due to years of human construction and interaction. The video projection replicates informal communication through reflected light across a large landscape as a dancing flicker. The collage mural combines maps, treaties, photographs, documents, and artistic research strategies to create an alternative narrative of history. Likewise, bar codes, google maps, and even border security chats are among the poetic details in Crespo’s art.

Witte Museum

Courtesy Artpace

María José Crespo''s works are on display at-Artpace.

“Beasley’s Vaqueros of the Brush County” — Now through March 20, 2023
Ricardo Beasley was an artist with the heart of a vaquero and one of the few artists in history who depicted the vaqueros of South Texas. Using pencils, charcoal and ink, Beasley’s drawings depict the details and wild action of the vaquero life from the 1930s through the 1960s. Beasley sketched continuously, capturing images of the landscape, the animals around him and the wild experiences of men born of the hard ranch land in South Texas. Many drawings were done in small tally books used to count cattle, on old grocery sacks, and anything he had to draw on or with. Beasley’s poems are featured in the exhibition alongside his sketches and artifacts from his life and family.

Courtesy Presa House Gallery

6 unique ways to savor the arts in San Antonio this November

State of the Arts

San Antonio’s museums, galleries, and even gardens are providing ample opportunities to soak up the arts this month in a multitude of ways, from 10-foot-tall works on wood from Andy Villarreal celebrating the Mayan culture (and a few aliens,) to stark black-and-white photos from Duncan Ganley capturing the city of London under COVID-19 lockdown. Meanwhile, Consuelo Jimenez Underwood’s vital feminist textile art redefines weaving and painting at Ruiz-Healy, and the San Antonio Botanical Gardens give us an excuse to kick off the holiday season with Lightscape, their second annual light display and celebration.

Bihl Haus Arts
“Galactic Mayan Warriors: Andy Villarreal” — Now through November 19

Andy Villarreal’s love of Mayan culture started about 20 years ago when he took a trip to Mexico. “My work is inspired by the Meso-American culture from the Yucatan,” Villarreal says. “It celebrates the history, rituals, the people and their ways of life. My work also deals with the past, present, and future. Aliens and flying saucers are also present.” Besides UFO’s, Villarreal, who teaches at the University of the Incarnate Word, includes warriors, kings, pyramids, jaguars, and other important icons, featuring numerous 8-foot and 10-foot-tall works on wood along with some smaller silk screen prints. He believes the Meso-American culture is often overlooked in art and that he should pay tribute to his own ancestors.

Presa House Gallery
"Born to Ride the Edge of Nothing” — Now through November 26

“Born to Ride the Edge of Nothing” brings together former University of Arizona colleagues Aaron S. Coleman and Alejandro Macias. Both artists present new multidisciplinary works reflecting on political and social issues in line with their individual experiences and a broader national conversation. The exhibition fuses their work in a singular dialogue touching on matters of race, ethnicity, multiculturalism, multinationalism, faith, and place.

The Michael and Noémi Neidorff Art Gallery
“Duncan Ganley: Inventory of Empty Streets” — Now through December 10

UK photographer Duncan Ganley documented every street inside central London’s Congestion Charge Zone during the UK’s first COVID-19 lockdown in the spring of 2020. Each photograph, shot identically, presents a view of a cityscape void of people, cars and congestion, capturing the shuttered retail and entertainment hub of London’s West End, the unpopulated residential roads north and south of the River Thames, and the eerily empty global financial center of the City of London. Ganley provides a photographic typology of the lockdown and explores the dissonance between the cinematic reading of the image and the very real anxieties during the pandemic.

McNay Art Museum
“True Believers: Benny Andrews & Deborah Roberts” — Now through January 22, 2023

True Believers is the first exhibition to examine the formal and thematic overlaps in the work of two artists separated by a generation: Benny Andrews (1930–2006) and Deborah Roberts (born 1962). The exhibition was forged through deep connections between the artists’ mutual use of collage and choice of subject matter. The exhibition’s title was inspired by both artists’ emphasis on the role of Black Americans in society, as well as art’s capacity for social change. Each artist has a distinct voice and a unique approach to collage. Both Andrews and Roberts draw viewer attention to the individual portrayed by placing subjects on stark backgrounds, and they also merge collage with painting to render powerful and heartfelt narratives.

Ruiz-Healy
“Consuelo Jimenez Underwood: One Nation Underground” — Now through January 28, 2023

Redefining the practice of weaving, Consuelo Jimenez Underwood works with repurposed barbed wire, yellow caution tape, safety pins, and plastic bags and crosses Indigenous, Chicana, European, and Euro-American art practices. Jimenez Underwood uses her unique tri-cultural perspective as a Chicana Indigenous American in her work, interweaving themes and imagery that reflect and revisit social memories. In 2022, the artist was awarded the Latinx Artist Fellowship, a first-of-its-kind initiative recognizing 15 of the most compelling Latinx visual artists working in the United States today.

San Antonio Botanical Garden
"Lightscape” — November 11 through January 8, 2023

San Antonio’s newest holiday tradition, Lightscape, is set to dazzle for a second year with thousands of twinkling lights and festive displays. The outdoor illuminated trail includes enchanting new installations in addition to well-loved favorites set to seasonal music along a 1-mile path through the Garden. The dazzling illuminations will include installations unique to Texas created by local and international artists. Favorites like the Winter Cathedral will return alongside reimagined installations, including Fire Garden and an even more spectacular display of Bluebonnets, an installation only seen in Texas. Visitors will have an opportunity to enjoy festive food and drinks, including roasting s’mores.

Courtesy Presa House Gallery

An exhibit by Aaron S. Coleman and Alejandro Macias is at Presa House Gallery this month.

Briscoe Western Art Museum presents Sips and Sounds of the West

Briscoe Western Art Museum will present Sips and Sounds of the West, which takes visitors to Northern Mexico as they enjoy a night of music under the stars on the River Walk.

The event will feature the band Los Callejeros De San Anto in the museum’s McNutt Sculpture Garden, the museum will celebrate the Hispanic influence on the America West.

Briscoe Western Art Museum presents 9th Birthday Celebration

The Briscoe will celebrate its ninth birthday with a special day of bison fun. An iconic symbol of the American West and part of the Briscoe’s logo, the bison is an indelible part of the wildlife and story of the American West.

Guests can enjoy birthday cupcakes, hands-on bison crafts all day, and hear Caprock Canyons State Park Superintendent Donald Beard discuss the “Official Bison Herd of the State of Texas.” Roaming more than 10,000 acres in the park, the bison are being restored to their native habitat. Guests can learn about the park’s work as one of the five foundational herds that saved the bison from extinction.

The Briscoe’s birthday celebration is included with general museum admission. Cupcakes will be available while supplies last. As always, children 12 and under receive free admission, as do active duty members of the military.

© and courtesy of Calendarios Landin

7 significant art shows shine in San Antonio this October

State of the Arts

For variety and diversity, you can’t beat the San Antonio art offerings this month. Immerse yourself in the fall season with an installation at Presa House focusing on traditional autumn celebrations like Día de Los Muertos, or Obon, the Japanese holiday honoring ancestors. Ponder over photography from Mexican and Mexican-American photographers at Semmes Gallery and Ruiz-Healy, and catch works celebrating San Antonio’s South Korean sister city, Gwangju, at Artpace. From examining the historical and cultural legacy of La Malinche and her representation throughout the years at the San Antonio Museum of Art, to art inspired by the creativity and freedom that comes from skateboarding at the Not For You Gallery, there’s an arts abundance for all to enjoy.

Semmes Gallery University of the Incarnate Word
“"Todo Bajo el Cielo" (Everything Under the Sky)” — Now through October 21
The work of Mexican photographers Anayantzin Contreras and José Luis Rodriguez Ritte explores the tensions embodied by their country’s syncretic heritage: tensions between nature and culture, instinct and intellect, design and improvisation, the local and the global, history and contemporaneity. In Contreras’ work, landscape becomes introspective, disembodied and ethereal, while Ritte explores idiosyncratic beauty: The portrait is a convergence of personal and social truths. Both artists focus on revealing the complexity and sophistication that, combined with a contemporary sensibility, reveal the adaptive, receptive nature of a culture in a constant state of renewal.

Art Gallery Prudencia
Vibrant Colors: Soon Y. Warren” — Now through October 22
Bold, vibrant colors take center stage in this exhibit by South Korean artist Soon Y. Warren, full-time artist and teacher residing in Fort Worth. Soon's favorite subjects are those found in the natural world, and in that world, color is everywhere. "I’m inspired by the beauty and complexity of nature and our surroundings," she says in an artist statement. "I try to paint the essence of my subjects using my sincere feelings for nature."

Ruiz-Healy
Celia Álvarez Muñoz: Semejantes Personajes/Significant Personalities ” — Now through October 22
In conjunction with FotoSeptiembre USA International Photography Festival this exhibition features a collection of forty-one portraits of four generations of San Antonio Latinx artists. Celia Álvarez Muñoz is a Mexican-American conceptual multimedia artist from El Paso known for her photography, painting, installations, and public art, as well as for her writing. In Álvarez Muñoz’s own words on the gallery website, these “portraits of San Antonio Latino visual artists are yet, another experiment: a courtship between old and new technologies, and old and new friends.” Artists from the gallery roster, such as Chuck Ramirez, César Augusto Martínez, Ethel Shipton, and Jesse Amado are included in the portraits.

Presa House
“Essentials Creative: Afterworld” — Now through October 29
"Afterworld” is a new site-specific installation that aims to create a comfortable space for marginalized communities to gather, learn about diverse cultures, and experience new contemporary artwork. “Afterworld” explores multiculturalism by combining new digital works printed on fabric, altar displays, video, and light experimentation. The installation focuses on traditional autumn celebrations like Mexico’s Día de Los Muertos/Day of the Dead, or Obon, the Japanese holiday honoring ancestors. The Gallery rooms will each transform to represent an afterlife theme inspired by different cultures.

Artpace
“Sister Cities: Gwangju to San Antonio” — Now through January 1, 2023
Since Gwangju, South Korea and San Antonio, Texas, became Sister Cities in 1982, the two communities have forged a friendship that has lasted 40 years. To embrace the traditional and contemporary diversity of art in Gwangju, this exhibition presents a variety of media, and introduces the academic thinking and artistic tradition that stems from the abundant nature of the region and the history that forms the basis of the Gwangju spirit reinterpreted into contemporary art. The works in “Sister Cities” embody the connectedness between the two places. Featured artists include: Haru.K, Seol Park, Namjin Lim, Eunsol Cho, Seonhooi Cheng, Youngsung Hwang, Junggi Lee, Leenam Lee, Jaeghil Woo, and Yonghyun Lim.

Not For You Gallery
"My Secret Skate Spots: Abel Aguirre” — October 7 through 28
Abel Aguirre was a skateboarder and a self-taught artist that spent most of his time skateboarding San Diego’s beaches and streets where he grew up. Skating’s creative and stylized culture had a significant effect on his artwork, as did famous artists such as Jackson Pollock, Pablo Picasso, Keith Haring, and Jean-Michel Basquiat. At age 21, Aguirre enlisted in the United States Navy and served for 20 years before retiring in San Antonio, where he has devoted his time to his art career. This exhibit is an expression of Aguirre’s artistic influences. His paint splatter is a nod to Jackson Pollock, the characters are reminiscent of Keith Haring, and the spontaneity of his canvases evokes Jean-Michel Basquiat. The subject is based on the creativity and freedom that comes from skateboarding.

© and courtesy of Calendarios Landin

Jesús Helguera (Mexican, 1910–71), La Malinche, 1941.

San Antonio Museum of Art
“Traitor, Survivor, Icon: The Legacy of La Malinche” — October 14 through January 8, 2023
This exhibit examines the historical and cultural legacy of La Malinche and her representation throughout the years. An enslaved Indigenous girl, Malinche served as a translator and cultural interpreter for the Spanish conquistador Hernán Cortés, eventually becoming his mistress and the mother of his first-born son. While she has been the subject of numerous historical publications and works of art, this is the first museum exhibition to present a comprehensive visual exploration of her enduring impact on communities along both sides of the US-Mexico border. Five hundred years after her death, her image and legacy remain relevant to conversations around female empowerment, Indigeneity, and national identity throughout the Americas. An immersive opera exploring the same themes will also take place in the museum's Great Hall on October 14.

Blue Star Contemporary/Facebook

San Antonio's iconic Blue Star Contemporary rebrands while sticking to its mission

A Star is (Re)born

For the astronomy nerds out there, the thing that comes after a blue star is a red one. For Blue Star Contemporary, the nonprofit art space, it’s a softer rebranding to Contemporary at Blue Star. San Antonio’s oldest contemporary art nonprofit unveiled a new name, graphic identity, and website on September 30, but it’s still the same organization people know and love.

Contemporary at Blue Star is celebrating its new identity with a public First Friday Block Party on Friday, October 7, at 6 pm. The event includes a DJ and an interactive screen-printing station with a donation to The Contemporary. Visitors can peruse the five galleries currently active.

Public-facing discussions about the organization’s identity started in 2021, when it assembled some focus groups of artists, educators, and other community. Prompting such a subtle change, it seems that San Antonians agreed the nonprofit was representing itself fairly well already, and just needed a little more specificity about the locale.

“During the community feedback process, we asked, ‘What is the promise we make to the community?’ and the answer consistently returned to: Contemporary Art for San Antonio, which is actually our incorporated name,” said Contemporary executive director Mary Heathcott. “To honor this history as an artist-centric home for contemporary art in San Antonio, celebrate the community we’ve built over the last 36 years, and prioritize our mission, the Contemporary at Blue Star felt like the right choice to lead us into the future.”

Brand strategist Leigh M. Baldwin led the focus groups, which also informed local graphic designer Jamie Stolarski while creating new logos. “We worked closely with the staff, board, and arts community to gather input on how best to convey the institution’s professionalism, inclusivity, and support for artists,” Stolarski said, “while providing distinction between it and the Complex and its commercial spaces.”

The logo is now “a modular system,” according to Stolarski, who incorporated a deeper cobalt blue to reflect the bold choices of contemporary artists who popularized the primary hue. The new website by Spellerberg Associates (yet to be implemented as of October 3), which specializes in designs for museums and cultural institutions, will incorporate community feedback for “a more updated, user-friendly, accessible, and engaging experience.”

In its three decades, the community organization has encompassed the Blue Star Exhibition, the Blue Star Arts Complex, the Blue Star Contemporary and more, all to make the changing business as accessible as possible without changing too much of its growing iconic identity. The Contemporary does not maintain a permanent collection, so its insides change constantly, too, hoping to keep up with the rest of the world as it shifts.

“It has been a pleasure to support the Contemporary’s role in our center city’s revitalization and to see it thrive along with businesses and organizations that sparked this remarkable growth years ago — growth that continues today,” said Blue Star Arts Complex owner and Contemporary Advisory Council member James Lifshutz. “I know firsthand the power of art to transform lives and build community, and I am energized by the Contemporary’s mission-driven, forward-thinking at this pivotal time.”

The block party on October 7 from 6-8 pm at 116 Blue Star is free to the public. On November 9, the 32nd Annual Red Dot Art Sale and Show launches with a fundraiser from 7-10 pm. It will be on view from November 11, 2022 to January 8, 2023, and will show work from more than 100 San Antonio artists, with proceeds benefiting both the creatives and The Contemporary. More information and tickets ($50) as they become available at bluestarreddot.org.

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Legendary Red Hot Chili Peppers heat up San Antonio with 2023 tour stop

one hot minute

One of alternative rock's most legendary acts is headed to San Antonio on their highly anticipated North American tour next year. Red Hot Chili Peppers will play the Alamodome on Wednesday, May 17, 2023.

Kicking off in Vancouver, British Columbia on March 29, RHCP will also stop in Houston's Minute Maid Park on Thursday, May 25 to close out the North American leg of the tour before heading to Europe. Effortlessly hip modern rock band The Strokes will support the Chili Peppers on both Texas stops, along with talented bassist-vocalist Thundercat.

Tickets go on sale at 10 am Friday, December 9 online. Other supporting acts along the way include Iggy Pop, The Roots, The Mars Volta, St. Vincent, City and Colour, and King Princess.

Touring in support of their two No. 1 studio albums released in 2022, Unlimited Love and Return of the Dream Canteen, the Chili Peppers have played sold-out shows in London, Paris, Los Angeles, and more with notable artists such as A$AP Rocky, Anderson.Paak, Beck, and HAIM.

The first rock band in 17 years to score two No. 1 albums in one year, the band has been red-hot on the Billboard charts and at the MTV Video Music Awards, where they received the Global Icon Award and brought the house down with a performance of the No. 1 single “Black Summer,'' which also won the award for Best Rock Video.

Fronted by the impossibly chiseled and ageless (he's 60!) Anthony Kiedis, the Chili Peppers formed in 1983. Unabashedly proud of their LA roots, the band burst onto the scene with early singles such as "Higher Ground" and "Give It Away," both showcases of bassist Flea's slappin', funk-fueled basslines.

Throughout the peak of alternative music in the '90s, the band saw tragedy, personnel changes at guitar, and reinventions — Kiedes' rap-singing, Flea's bass grooves, and singalong choruses all constants over the decades.

While many '90s alt-rock acts fizzled, the Chili Peppers stayed relevant; the band boasts two anthemic singles with more than 1 billion streams — "Californication" and "Under the Bridge" — and more than 25 million followers on Spotify.

Expect this show to be packed with Gen Xers and new fans for what promises to be one hot minute.

Red Hot Chili Peppers 2023 tour dates:

  • Wednesday, March 29 – Vancouver – BC Place
  • Saturday, April 1 – Las Vegas – Allegiant Stadium
  • Thursday, April 6 – Fargo, North Dakota – FargoDome
  • Saturday, April 8 – Minneapolis – US Bank Stadium
  • Friday, April 14 – Syracuse, New York – JMA Wireless Dome
  • Friday, May 12 – San Diego – Snap Dragon Stadium
  • Sunday, May 14 – Phoenix – State Farm Stadium
  • Wednesday, May 17 – San Antonio – Alamodome
  • Friday, May 19 – Gulf Shores, Alabama – Hangout Music Festival
  • Thursday, May 25 – Houston – Minute Maid Park

Texas-based 3D printing company tapped by NASA to build on the moon

To infinity and beyond

An Austin-based builder of 3D-printed homes, ICON, is making one small step for man and one giant leap for mankind by signing a $57 million contract with NASA to build on the moon.

According to a release from ICON, the Texas company will soon venture into a new frontier of space dimensions. The contract, announced on November 29, was awarded to the company under NASA's Phase III Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program. This program allows ICON to use the $57 million award to build their Olympus system, which adds to previous construction done by both NASA and the Department of Defense for exploration of the moon and beyond.

"ICON’s Olympus system is intended to be a multi-purpose construction system primarily using local lunar and Martian resources as building materials to further the efforts of NASA as well as commercial organizations to establish a sustained lunar presence," the release stated.

The project will work in conjunction with NASA's Artemis program, which launched its first rocket in 50 years on November 15. ICON will work with the program to:

  • Use lunar regolith samples brought back from Apollo missions, in addition to other regolith simulants, to see their mechanical behavior in lunar gravity.
  • Bring advanced hardware and software into space through a lunar gravity simulation flight.
  • Create results to inform future lunar construction approaches for the space community.
  • Establish critical infrastructure necessary for a sustainable lunar economy and habitation.

“The final deliverable of this contract will be humanity’s first construction on another world, and that is going to be a pretty special achievement," said Jason Ballard, ICON co-founder and CEO.

"It's a construction system we call Olympus system that will allow us to use the local materials of the moon to build all the elements of infrastructure necessary for a lunar outpost and ultimately a moon base ... launch and landing pads, roadways, habitats, you name it, all the things on the moon," said Ballard.

He added that they hope to start building on the moon by 2026, starting with a launch and landing pad.

In addition to the grant, ICON was awarded a subcontract in 2021 to support NASA's Space Technology Mission Directorate to create the world's first and only simulated 3D-printed Mars surface habitat. Called Mars Dune Alpha, it is located at NASA's Johnson Space Center and is assisting in long-duration science missions.

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Read the full story and watch the video at KVUE.com.

6 things to know in San Antonio food right now: New beer garden quietly opens

New You Can Eat

Editor's note: We get it. It can be difficult to keep up with the fast pace of San Antonio's restaurant and bar scene. We have you covered with our regular roundup of essential food news.

Openings

The owners of Gold Feather have unofficially untapped a new venture, LadyBird Beer Garden. Although official channels are keeping details mum, a Facebook page run by landlords VLA Real Estate spilled the beans on the November 25 opening. In addition to serving craft beer, the concept at 447 W. Hildebrand Ave has a full kitchen, bar, and a small patio for enjoying the mild December weather.

Months after coyly announcing a second location, Elotitos Corn Bar sprouted a new Government Hill location on December 3. The snack shop is well known for its aguas frescas and elotes flights, offering the street food staple in various flavors. The new outpost is open Monday through Saturday, 3-9 pm.

Following the recent San Antonio expansion of Oregon-based Dutch Bros Coffee, another out-of-towner is gaining some local buzz. According to Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation records, Arkansas franchise 7 Brew Coffee is brewing its first Alamo City location at 4825 Walzem Rd. Barring delays, the project will be completed in May 2023.

Pop-up concept Rose Hip Coffee has found a permanent home at 116 W. Olmos Dr. in Olmos Park. The broadened Rose Hip Market combines caffeine with boutique retail, offering everything from kid's clothes to ready-to-eat sandwiches and salads. The playful equestrian wallpaper might make it a can't-miss selfie spot.

Other news and notes

A new cocktail conference will lift San Antonio's spirits in January. The Culinaria-hosted Third Coast Cocktail Summit will feature seminars, tastings, dinners, and tipsy soirées during its five-day run from January 10-14. All-access passes are now available for $250 for industry and $500 for general admission at the nonprofit's website.

In other booze news, Kinsman's Brandy Alexander Tour is back in full swing for the holiday season. Dorćol Distilling's annual celebration of the famous desert cocktail has drafted 14 spots to offer the renowned desert cocktail this year, including several newcomers like Allora, Bar Loretta, Double Standard, Ladino, and Sojourn Trading Co. A full list of participants can be found here.